The delicate, flaky crust. The warm, puffy center. The honey butter gently drizzled over that iconic crescent-rolled shape. When the craving strikes for one of our signature Honey Butter Croissants, you can’t help but hurry to your closest Cheddar’s to get your fill. You’re not alone – we serve up more than 14.6 million of them every year.
You can request them as the tasty sidekick to your salad, and some guests even order them as an appetizer. However you order them, you know they’re the stuff that carb dreams are made of.
But what makes these pastry pillows of perfection so good? Let’s dig in.
Not Your Average Dinner Roll
As you can probably guess, our Honey Butter Croissants are special to us. Just check out the televisions in our restaurants, which boast continued footage of these decadent pastries being prepared. Our founders, Aubrey Good and Doug Rogers, didn’t want to go the traditional bread or dinner roll route — so they landed on serving these sweet and savory crescent treats instead.
When our culinary team arrives every morning to prepare for the day, one of their biggest priorities is the Honey Butter Croissants. First, they let a super-secret, signature dough proof for several hours, giving it that signature, airy rise. Result — it’s nice and fluffy after baking.
When we’re ready to open, the culinary team bakes a batch of croissants fresh — and continues to do so every 20 minutes, if not sooner due to demand. The croissants are pulled out of the oven, and right before we deliver them to your table, we put on the finishing touch — our scratch-made glaze featuring house-whipped butter and honey.
The Birth of the Croissant
So where exactly did the croissant come from? Just like the Facebook status, it’s complicated.
Food experts all agree that it was inspired by the Austrian kipfel (German for crescent), a crescent-shaped baked good made with heaping amounts of butter — and sometimes with something sweet like sugar or nuts. Legend says that it all began in 1683 when the Ottoman Turks tried to take over Vienna. A local baker heard the Turks tunneling underneath the city’s walls as he was doing his early morning baking. He sounded the alarm and saved the city. To celebrate the victory, he shaped his bread like crescents to mimic the Ottoman flag’s crescent moon.
Kipfels made their way to France in one of two ways. The more popular story involves Marie Antoinette, a native of Vienna, who was homesick for a taste of her homeland and ordered royal bakers to re-create the Austrian kipfel. The more likely story features Austrian artillery officer turned entrepreneur August Zang, who opened the first Viennese bakery in Paris in 1838. One of his signature dishes? The Austrian kipfel.
Regardless of which is true, French bakers were eager to make their own version with puffed pastry. The croissant was born, and before long, the airy treat became a mainstay of French breakfasts everywhere. It was only a matter of time until the rest of the world said, “Bonjour!” to the croissant.
Fortunately, you don’t have to travel all the way to Austria or Paris to bite into a great croissant. So the next time the mood strikes, head to your closest Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen!